Greetings Shipmates, Families and Friends of the Squadron,
The Chain of our Brotherhood has lost but one more link. AE-1 John Mello, gunner Crew-10 passed away on September 10, 2004, after a length Illness. I received an e-mail from Mrs. Mello, Teri, today of this most sad news.
I had the privilege to visit with John and Teri this last April when they joined us in Tucson, Arizona to explore a possible OP-2E Neptune replica that the may become part of our archives. Although John was a little under the weather at the time he had a great time crawling all over that Neptune out in the desert. The heat was intense and the Neptune was covered with flower dust inside and out. We had the best time that day thanks to Frank Motter, founder of Thunder Air Museum who located the P-2 in a private bone yard.
As I sat in the Radio compartment that day in the desert I watched John sitting in his rear gun position. He just sat there looking out that Port window in a far away stare and every so often he would raise up his hands as if to grip the handles of his M-60 machine gun. He spoke of a little " Devil Doll" that his sister had sent him for luck and how he had hung it near his M-60. It can clearly be seen in a picture on the VO-67 web site showing the rear window with M-60 gun installed. I think he relived the combat missions he flew on so many years ago. John was a gentle man and a devout Jehovah Witness. This is why he never joined us at the reunions but as Teri said ,VO-67 was still part of him and he was with us in sprit.
We will miss you John. " Wings of Gold" to "Angel Wings"